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Title: Expanding debate: radical critiques of United States imperialism during the Cold War
Author: Morgan, James Gareth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 3601
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis is a detailed account of how radical critiques of American imperialism evolved during the Cold War. Due to the United States' anti-imperial heritage (which was enshrined by the War of Independence against the British Empire), American scholars have not always been candid about the United States global role. Instead, orthodox historians often portrayed US expansion in philanthropic terms, whilst ignoring the imperial dimensions of American diplomacy. The radical Left, on the other hand, appeared to be immune from contemporary intellectual currents. Instead, left wing scholars aroused considerable controversy by making notions of American 'empire' and 'imperialism' the cornerstones of their often highly critical interpretations of US foreign policy. This thesis will explain how these radicals used imperialism as an intellectual prism through which they interpreted American history. Whilst some scholars merely used the word 'imperialism' as a political stick with which to beat US policymakers, the authors examined here presented complex critiques of American empire that embraced diverse phenomena such as economic, political, ideological and cultural expansion. Although orthodox critics dismissed left wing dissidents as mere economic determinists (thus grouping them together), this thesis will demonstrate that radical critiques were actually more heterogeneous and sophisticated than liberals liked to think. Furthermore, these radical interpretations evolved over time in significant ways - and eventually made a vital contribution to the historiography of US foreign relations The study of imperialism undoubtedly provides an excellent interpretative prism through which the actions of great powers can be analysed. This thesis will serve diplomatic history by exploring the debate on US imperialism and by revealing how concepts of American empire developed during the twentieth century. The following pages will also help scholars to place more recent critiques of United States imperialism in their true historiographical context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available